Great Gifts for Every State

New Hampshire Badger Balms will lull your attendees to sleep -- at night, not during your meeting
Few meeting offerings create as strong a bond with a destination as a well-chosen pillow gift. Whether giving a local treat or a state souvenir, offering attendees a little something that will remind them of the area, or impart some regional wisdom, gifts are a great way to enhance an event, no matter where it takes place. With this in mind, Successful Meetings offers its yearly roundup of gift ideas for each state, from Alabama to Wyoming.

Say hello in Southern style with Carolyn Lewis's unique note cards, which repurpose her grandfather's Alabama road atlases into intricate, state-centric designs. Special bonus: If you don't see the city you want featured, Alabama Goods will have Tweet Home Alabama note cards custom designed for you. $15.95.

A jar of Pacific Keta salmon eggs from Wild Alaska Smoked Salmon & Seafood offers a little bit of luxury that can be enjoyed with crackers, toast, or cream cheese. Any sushi fan will be pleased with a 1.75-ounce jar of this local favorite. $19.95.

Attendees can bring home some of the Sonoran desert with a cactus garden from Arizona Gifts. The handmade, five-inch terra cotta pot is planted with an array of miniature cacti native to Arizona and the soil is topped with red gravel similar to that of the Sedona landscape. $28.98.

Ask anyone in Arkansas what one of their main snack staples is and it's likely they'll mention J&M Cheese Straws. Made with cheese and spice, these crackers are available in Original Cheddar, Asiago, Bleu, and an Insanity Cheese Straw flavor with a touch of chipotle. $2.10 to $24.

Unique popcorn flavors like Chipotle Caramel + Almonds and Vietnamese Cinnamon Sugar set San Francisco's 479 Popcorn apart. A Foodie Sampler with all five flavors retails for $35.

Chocolove bars have gained something of a cult following, probably due to their all-natural ingredients and the fact that the company has imported the classic techniques of Europe's finest chocolatiers to its Boulder, CO, factory. The bars come in 10 flavors, and a case of 12 sells for $31.46.

Colorful PEZ Candy Dispensers from the iconic candy's new U.S. distribution center in Orange, CT, will make any attendee smile. One of the state's newest sights, the 6,000-square-foot attraction is home to all things PEZ. Discover the largest, most comprehensive collection of memorabilia from the 85-year-old candy brand on public display in the world.

The Dover International Speedway, referred to as the "Monster Mile" raceway, is one of the most famous tracks in the nation. A great memento is a die-cast car featuring a red, white, and blue color scheme, the Dover logo, and Miles the Monster on the hood. $10.


There are few products so thoroughly associated with Florida as Key Lime Pie, and one of the best places to get it is Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Pie Shoppe—which taught the Today Show cast how to make them. That said, a pie left in an attendee’s room would prove impractical to pack, so here’s a solution: leave a tin of Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Cookies ($12.95 for 6 oz.) in the rooms, along with a note explaining that a full pie, complete with whipped cream, ($73.95 including shipping) will be overnighted to them after they return home.

The Home Depot's current slogan is, "More Saving. More Doing." Before that it was, "You can do it. We can help." Both are great messages to communicate to any group meeting in Georgia, where the home improvement company is headquartered. Home Depot gift cards are available in denominations as low as $10 and as high as $500.

For a thoughtful memento from Hawaii, consider giving a handcrafted Hawaiian Koa wood pen from local Hawaiian craftsman Aaron P. Lau at Lau Lau Woodworks. $35 to $215.

The name of the Idaho Spud Bar might be misleading (there are no potatoes to be found), but since its creation in 1909, this potato-shaped chocolate-marshmallow-coconut candy bar has been one of Idaho Candy Co.'s best-selling items. $1 each.

Garrett Popcorn has been a Chicago tradition since 1949. The popular popcorn shop, which offers customizable tins of daily handmade batches, gave rise to the infamous "Chicago mix" - a tantalizing, salty-and-sweet blend of the CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn recipes. $31.

The Indianapolis 500: A Century of Excitement outlines the history of America's greatest stock car race with stunning full-page color photos. The book includes a detailed foreword by Indianapolis native David Letterman. $18.

How about an adorable Iowa-themed cookie-cutter set? Your attendees will be thrilled to commemorate their trip to Iowa with some down-on-the-farm sugar cookies or snickerdoodles. $15.

A bar of Sunflower Soap from the Wichita Soap Company lets attendees enjoy the smell and feel of Kansas. Made from seeds, petals, and the oil of Kansas sunflowers (and no animal products), the jasmine-scented soap makes for a natural, local, and environ- mentally responsible pillow gift. $3.69 per bar.

Kentucky Burgoo, a spicy stew usually made with pork, chicken, or mutton, is a favorite dish at local barbecue pits and Derby parties. Enjoy it with a wide-mouth ceramic mug from Louisville Stoneware that comes with the burgoo recipe hand-painted on its side. $30.

Give attendees the taste of New Orleans' French Quarter with a gift basket from Cafe du Monde, which has been serving rich, delicious chicory-laced coffee and traditional beignets since 1862. The Orleans St. Gift Basket features a tin of ground chicory coffee, beignet mix and a souvenir mug. $16.40.

Lobster and Maine go hand-in-hand and when your group is visiting the state, be sure to give them the opportunity to eat some. Offer them a lobster pillow gift in another form - chocolate. Len Libby, a Maine chocolatier, offers a solid chocolate lobster in either milk or dark. $22.

Few attendees leave a meeting in Maryland without having developed a taste for the state's famous crabs. Send them away armed with the utensil necessary to enjoy the tasty crustacean properly no matter where they are. Casson's Crab Knife is designed with a blunt edge that's perfect for not only picking the meat out of the crab but also for eating it without sticking or cutting yourself. A single knife is $8.95, while a box of four goes for $42.

Frequently referred to as "America's Most Beloved Ballpark," Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912, and is one of the most iconic baseball stadiums in the country. Send your attendees home with a keepsake replica tin of Boston's iconic baseball stadium, filled with rich, all-natural, buttery shortbread cookies. Each tin contains 12 bite-sized baseball cookies in classic shortbread flavor. $11.95.

Charm attendees with a unique Michigan-shaped oven mitt that is as practical as it is novel. The fabric features a detailed map of the lower peninsula on the front and one of the upper peninsula on the back. $11.

Since 1946, Minnetonka moccasins have been a hugely popular offering from this state, and the Thunderbird Moc is perhaps its most iconic. Available in both suede and smooth leather, this style comes in a wide range of colors. $39.95 in suede and $43.95 in smooth leather.

Sweet Potato Cake Mix is based on an award- winning Sweet Potato Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing recipe. Your attendees will enjoy this cake that includes the flavors of sweet potatoes, coconut, and a hint of raisins. All they will have to do is add water, oil, and eggs. $11.

To splurge a bit on attendees for a meeting in Missouri, consider a Taste the Best of Missouri Gourmet Gift Box. Each comes with a wide variety of locally made treats, such as Persimmon Hill Berry Jam, Tony’s Old Fashioned Summer Sausage, and Little Pleasures Soup, all made in the Show-Me State. The best part? Even the box is shaped like Missouri. $54.99.

Near her home in Bozeman, MT, Robin Bequet has been making award-winning, all-natural gourmet caramels since 2001, when she decided to switch careers and go into candy making after working for 25 years in technology sales and business management. Available flavors include Soft Vanilla Butter or Celtic Sea Salt. $4.95 for a two-ounce gift box.

Zyliss's high-design interlocking corn holders are sure to remind your attendees of their visit to the Cornhusker State. Best of all, they're practical and easy to pack in a suitcase for the return flight. A set of four costs $6.

Tahoe Toffee founder Mindy Miller's business grew out of the delicious treats she produced in her own kitchen. A 10-inch acrylic box in the shape of the state of Nevada filled with 40 ounces of Nevada-shaped (and made) sweet butter hard toffee with chocolate and chopped almonds is $15, and a portion of the proceeds goes to Keep Tahoe Blue, an organization dedicated to preserving Lake Tahoe.

New Hampshire
A mini tin of Badger Sleep Balm made locally in Gilsum, NH, is a thoughtful pillow gift. Badger is a small, family-owned and family-friendly company nestled on the banks of the Ashuelot River. The balm consists of organic plant extracts, exotic oils, butters, and beeswax and bulk quantity discounts are available. $9.99 for a two-ounce tin and $5.99 for a 0.75-ounce tin.

New Jersey
Here's a gift that has Oprah's seal of approval. Jaret's Stuffed Cupcakes has been featured in her magazine. The bakery's "Cupcake of the Month Club" is perfect for VIP attendees. A dozen assortment is shipped overnight to ensure moistness. A three-month subscription is $42 plus shipping per month.

New Mexico
Santa Fe boasts a rich Native American history and is also home to a burgeoning artists' community. Offer attendees the best of both worlds with a piece of New Mexico folk art by local woodcarver Larry Jacquez. His wooden coyote figures come in three sizes and are made from cottonwood found in the arroyos north of Santa Fe. $29.95 to $120.

New York
Many do not immediately associate New York with golf, which is a mistake. The Thompson House in the Northern Catskill Mountains gives all members of golf groups a golf goody bag.

North Carolina
You can't find Mayberry, the fictional North Carolina town made famous on "The Andy Griffith Show," on any map, but attendees can own a piece of it - if only for as long as it takes to play Mayberry-opoly. The down-home version of the legendary board game sells for $30.

North Dakota
A small husband-and-wife business located in Bismarck, Cut N Scribe produces handmade leather goods like checkbooks, belts and horse nosebands. Starting with full hides, the company colors the leather and then laser-engraves custom patterns. Most of their designs have a Western theme, but corporate logos and colors are no problem, and the company can even customize each item to the point of adding each participant's name. Checkbooks start at $35.

Devised by a boy from Marysville, OH, these manly-scented candles (aka Man Cans) come in varieties like Bacon, Grandpa's Pipe, Gun Powder, and Campfire. Each is made with a soup can whose contents were donated to hospitals, churches, and other non-profit groups. $9.50 per can.

A sweet and spicy gift idea comes from Oklahoma City-based Prairie Gypsies. The Red Hot Lover Pepper Jam is made with fresh jalapeno, habanero, Serrano, and sweet bell peppers - a lovely companion to everything from chicken to egg rolls to crackers. $7.50.

Scientist-turned-chocolatier David Briggs, of Xocolatl De David, makes delicious, artisanal chocolates in Portland, OR, including his popular Raleigh Bars that feature chocolate pecan nougat paired with bourbon caramel, bacon caramel, or salted caramel. $3.

Tastykakes are a Philadelphia tradition. The company was established in 1914 by Philip J. Baur and Herbert T. Morris and was originally sold only in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The Large Classic Collection is the quintessential Tastykake variety pack. It's stuffed with the company's most popular cakes for the full Tastykake experience. $39.99.

Rhode Island
Franco DeLucia brought his father's frozen lemonade recipe to America at the turn of the century. Angelo DeLucia, his son, began work on a machine to produce frozen lemonade, and on a method of making it a consistently excellent product. In 1948, Del's Frozen Lemonade acquired its name and became the sole product sold at a little stand in Cranston, Rhode Island. Give your attendees a taste of Rhode Island to bring home with them with a Del's Lemonade Making Kit. $16.

South Carolina
Pig farming is one of South Carolina's major agricultural industries. But they're not just for eating - they're a time-honored symbol of frugality. Remind your attendees to stay on top of their budgets with a piggy bank bearing the South Carolina state flag. At $4.95 a piece, these items won't break your bank either.

South Dakota
For more than 50 years, Rapid City-based Sioux Pottery has been selling vases, bowls, mugs and other handmade pieces produced by Sioux craftsmen using red mud from the Black Hills, and featuring designs and symbols important to the Lakota culture, such as triangles and the buffalo they relied on for everything from food to fuel to shelter. Prices range from under $20 for mugs to $50 to $200 for vases.

The Goo Goo Cluster is a 100-year-old Tennessee treat that has it all: milk chocolate, caramel, peanuts, and marshmallow nougat. Planners can choose from the Original, Peanut Butter, or Supreme (with pecan instead of peanuts). $3.95 for a three-pack.

Proud Texan Rick Morrison has been crafting homemade Lone Star State-shaped cutting boards for years. Available in cherry or walnut, each cutting board retails for $80.

Utah's Great Salt Lake is an amazing source of mineral salts rich in the nutrients that feed and nourish your skin. Ojavan says the mud it hand harvests from a remote northwestern section of the lake has more than 70 trace minerals and elements, as well as a sand with rounded edges that exfoliates and polishes the skin, rather than sharp crystalline structure. A six-ounce jar is $60.

Lake Champlain Chocolates, made in the state capital, Burlington, offers a line of Chocolates of Vermont featuring all-natural Vermont ingredients like pure maple syrup, fresh cream, and local honey. (The chocolate, however, is Belgian.) The chocolates are also imprinted with iconic local images such as sugar maple leaves, Lake Champlain, and the Green Mountains. Factory tours are available. A 12-piece assorted gift Bag is $14, and a 24-piece assorted gift box is available for $35.

They are plump and succulent - and we're not talking about the famed hams that come out of Virginia. The state has had equal success in cultivating the humble peanut. Some of the best are the Hand Cooked Virginia Peanuts found in The Peanut Shop in Williamsburg. A 32-ounce tin goes for $22.99. 

The quintessential Washington foodie souvenir, smoked sockeye salmon, is both delicious and satisfying, especially for epicurean attendees. $6.99 to $16.00;

West Virginia
West Virginia Fruit and Berry products are all grown in the mountains of West Virginia. They are traditional preserves manufactured the same way folks in this region have been doing it for generations. Of course that means with no additives or corn syrup. A single costs $7.00 and a gift pack of three goes for $19.

Wisconsin may be known for its excellent cheeses, but you won't go wrong with these peppery Landjager sausages. Made with Brazilian red and green peppers, they deliver a tang, but are not actually hot. These delicious offers are available in packs of 18 for $6 each.

Wyoming is known for its intricate, handmade leather goods. One of the standout producers of Wyoming leather is Flat Creek Saddle Shop in Jackson Hole, WY, which offers all variety of leather pieces. The leather key chains featuring a Wyoming quarter make for a fitting gift and are available in dark brown, brick red, black, and brown. $12.